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Dhruvi Acharya is an Indian artist, known for her psychologically complex and visually layered paintings, often accented with dark humour. Her work has been exhibited in international museums and galleries since 1998, when her MFA thesis exhibition was also her first gallery solo show. Acharya began painting her memories of home soon after arriving in the United States from Mumbai, India, in 1995, she spent a decade living in the US, along with her late husband, filmmaker Manish Acharya (1967-2010). Mother of two teenaged boys, Acharya currently lives and works in Mumbai.
In a piece about her October–November 2016 solo show "after the fall" at Chemould Prescott Road Gallery in Bombay, which reviewer Anindita Ghose viewed as marking "a powerful return" for the artist, Vogue India wrote that the "visual detailing in Acharya’s work lures viewers to pause and reflect on their own experiences. This is not just her struggle, it forces you to confront your own." Reviewing the same show for India's most respected broadsheet, The Hindu, Phalguni Desai wrote that "After the Fall is exquisite, personal and unabashed in its grief and in its strength."
In Acharya's lusciously painted world, human forms morph to match their mental state, comic book-inspired empty thought and speech bubbles convey ineffable emotions, and memory drawings fade in and out of layers of paint: merging the past, the present and imagined futures. Employing subtle, dark and wry humour, Acharya's work magnifies the psychological and emotional aspects of an urban woman’s life in a world teeming with discord, violence and pollution, although the genesis of the work is often personal, Acharya's finished paintings reflect on the universality of the human emotions and experiences.
Dhruvi Acharya received her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree from the Hoffberger School of Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, USA in 1998. She completed her Post Baccalaureate in 1996 from the same college, having earlier completed her undergraduate studies in Applied Arts from the Sophia Polytechnic in Mumbai. While at Sophia, she was awarded the Gold Medal after her fourth year, despite this normally being an honour reserved for fifth-year students.
Honors & Awards
2014 YFLO Young Women Achiever's Awards, India
2006 Awarded Aditya Vikram Birla Kiran Puraskar, India
2006 Nominated for The Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, USA
2005 Included among “Leaders of their Generation”, India Today (cover page), January
1996 Awarded International Students Scholarship, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore
1992, 91, 89 Awarded Student of the Year, Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai
1992 Awarded Gold Medal for the Best Annual Exhibition, Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai
2017 Asia Society, Max Meuller Bhavan, Mumbai
2016 Projects / Process: #01, The G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture, Mumbai
2016 V-IDEO Ideas Worth Sharing, Mohile Parikh Center for the Visual Arts, India
2016 Visiting Artist, Space 118, Mumbai
2009 Painting Workshop, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai
2005 Presentation of Work, Mohile Parikh Center for the Visual Arts, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai
2016 after the fall, solo show, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai, India
2015 Chitra Ganesh & Dhruvi Acharya: Painting As Performance, India Art Fair, New Delhi, India
2010 Gasp!, solo show, Kravets/Wehby Gallery, New York, USA
2008 One Life on Earth, solo show, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai & Nature Morte, New Delhi, India *
2006 two plus two equals, solo show, Chemould Gallery, Mumbai *
2004 figment, solo show, Chemould Gallery, Mumbai *
2002 Woman, Mother, Goddess, solo show, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumba
2001 Gomez Art Gallery, solo show, Baltimore
2001 Three Contemporary Painters: Nilima Sheikh, Manisha Parekh, Dhruvi Acharya, BosePacia Modern, New York 2000 Three Person Show, Bachelier Cardonsky Gallery, Kent, USA
1999 East Meets West: Bari Kumar & Dhruvi Acharya, curated by M. A Greenstein, School 33, Baltimore *
1998 Three Person Show, Gomez Gallery, Baltimore
1998 MFA Thesis Exhibition, solo show, MICA Gallery, Baltimore
1996 Color, Culture & Consciousness, solo show, Meyerhoff Gallery, Baltimore
Solo Show Catalogs *
- "after the fall", essay by Gayatri Sinha
- One Life on Earth, 2008, essay by Girish Shahane
- Two Plus Two Equals, 2006, essay by Nancy Adajania
- Figment, 2004, essay by Jitish Kallat
2015 painting as performance, with Chitra Ganesh, India Art Fair
2013 JSW, 7x32 foot mural for the Jindal Steel Works Center, Mumbai
2009 Mumbai City Mural, Mumbai International Airport Art Project, Mumbai
Selected Group Exhibitions
2017 Sub Plots, Laughing in the vernacular, curated by Meena Vari, sNational Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai
2014 Aesthetic Bind: Floating World, 50 years of Chemould Prescott Road, curator Geeta Kapur, Mumbai *
2014 Drawing, 25 years of Gallery Espace, curator Prayag Shukla, New Delhi, India
2013 Mythopoetic, Women artists from Australia & India, curator Marnie Dean, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia *
2013 Re-picturing the Feminine, New & Hybrid Realities in the Art World, curator Marnie Dean, Gallery OED, Kochi
2012 Fragile, 1x1 & Paradox Gallery, Singapore
2011 Roots in the Air, Branches Below: Modern & Contemporary Art from India, San Jose Museum of Art, USA
2011 Of Humour, Wit and Satire, Gallery Threshold, New Delhi *
2011 Fabular Bodies: New narratives in the Art of the Miniature, curator Gayatri Sinha, Chatrapati Shivaji Museum, Mumbai
2010 Bring me a Lion: An Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art, curator Dana Turkovic & Jeffrey Hughes, Cecile R. Hunt Gallery, Webster University, St. Louis, USA *
2009 Edible Woman, Kravets/Wehby Gallery, New York, USA
2009 Chrysalid, Amelia Johnson Contemporary, Hong Kong
2009 Ethics of Encounter II, curator Brian Curtin, Gallery Soulflower, Bangkok *
2009 Marvelous Reality, Gallery Espace, New Delhi
2009 Vicissitudes of the Constructed Image, Tangerine Art Space, Bangalore, India
2009 Intimate Lives, curator Anupa Mehta, The Loft & Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai
2009 Pixel Power, curator Georgina Maddox, The Loft, Mumbai
2008 Shifting Terrains/Altered Realities, The Shrine Gallery & Gallery Empire, The Arts House, Singapore *
2008 Miniature Format, Sans Tache Art Gallery, Mumbai
2007 India Art Now: Between Continuity & Transformation, curator Daniela Palazzoli, Spazio Oberdan, Milan, Italy * 2007 Year 2007, Bucheon Contemporary, London, UK
2006 The Art Edge, Visual Art Gallery, New Delhi
2005 Fatal Love: South Asian American Art Now, curators Jaishri Abichandani & Prerana Reddy, Queens Museum of Art, New York *
2005 In Short, Hacienda Art Gallery, Mumbai
2005 Divine Inspiration, Hacienda Art Gallery, Mumbai
2004 Ideas & Images VI - Art in Mumbai, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai
2002 Words and Images, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai
2002 elections from New American Paintings, OSP Gallery, Boston, USA
2002 Shakti, 50 Women Artists, Hacienda, Mumbai
2001 Shaken and Stirred, BosePacia Modern, New York
2001 Alienation, York Quay Center, Harbourfront, Toronto
2001 Excerpts from My Diary Pages, Fine Art Company, Mumbai
2001 Sakhi Visual Arts Showcase, BosePacia Modern Gallery, New York
2001 Art Frenzy, 12th Street Studios, Long island, New York
2000 Art of Modern India, BosePacia Modern Gallery, New York
2000 Small Works, 80 Washington Square East Galleries, New York
2000 Nayika, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai
2000 Diasporadics 2000, Riverside Church Theater, New York
2000 Print Exhibition, Manhattan graphics Center, New York 1998 13 Artists, 2 Galleries, juried by Nancy Miller Batty, Halcyon Gallery & Studio 302, Baltimore
1998 Artscape Annual, juried by Garry Sangster & Olga Viso, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore
1998 The Divine Comedy: Images of Heaven, Hell and Limbo, juried by Walter Gomez, Cade Center, Arnold, USA
1997 Augenmusik VI, Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore
1997 Selections from the Graduate Studios, curator Eugenie Tsai, Meyerhoff Gallery, Baltimore
- Catalog Available
- "Meet Dhruvi Acharya and her tribe of thinking women". vogue.in/. 14 October 2016.
- "Fall, rise, repeat". thehindu.com/. 8 November 2016.
- "It's Not Dry Yet". The New York Times. 28 March 2010.
- "10 young Indian artists to watch". ted.com.
- "Young guns who represent the changing face of India". intoday.in.
- Christie’s. "Dhruvi Acharya - Christie's". christies.com.
- "Dhruvi Acharya". saffronart.com.
- "Take risks & trust your intuition: Dhruvi Acharya - Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dnaindia.com. 20 October 2013.
- "Tehelka - India's Independent Weekly News Magazine". tehelka.com.
- "GASP: Dhruvi Acharya". aaa-a.org. 31 March 2010.
- "Dhruvi Acharya". artslant.com.